Magnification and Display Settings on the iPhone

Hi! Back to “Sue fumbles along with her new iPhone.” I decided I would move on to tackling the accessibility features.

Where are the accessibility features in an iPhone?

To begin with, accessibility is in your settings folder. This is the little gear icon. If you have set up Siri, she can open it for you. Just say “Hey, Siri! Open settings.”

  • Go to "General"
  • Click "Accessibility" and you will see all of the features I plan to cover


So far, the only accessibility feature I know Siri can open is VoiceOver. This is probably because VoiceOver is for people with serious vision loss. VoiceOver will tell you what icon you have your finger on. “Hey, Siri, turn on VoiceOver” will start it. “Hey, Siri, turn off VoiceOver” will turn it off.

I just met a light-perception only person who loves VoiceOver. It is the way he is able to use his iPhone. Since I still have a lot of vision, I don’t care for it. The voice on my new iPhone is better than the voices on my old tablets. To me, those voices for VoiceOver always sounded like a chipmunk on speed. Not that I would insinuate Simon, Theodore, or Alvin ever had a substance abuse problem.


The next one on the list is Zoom. You are given a choice of window zoom or full-screen zoom. Window zoom gives you a “magnifying glass" that you can move around the screen and magnify certain parts of what is there. Full-screen zoom magnifies everything.

Because I have experience with a CCTV magnifier and ZoomText (for PCs), my preference is full-screen zoom. You may prefer window zoom. That is up to you.

Full-screen zoom

A problem with any full-screen zoom is things “fall off" the edges. You can recenter the screen by using three fingers to move things around in iPhone full-screen zoom but first, you have to be aware you are “missing” something. Remembering to look beyond the limits of my screen can be a problem for me.

Zoom controller

Zoom controller can be placed on your screen. It is a circle within a square, within a diamond, within a circle. Once you have full-screen zoom set up, you can double-tap zoom controller to enlarge or alternately reduce everything.

Gee, I am learning a lot here! Hope you are, too.


Next on the list is magnifiers. You can magnify what you want to look at by turning on magnify and then going to your camera. If you then tap on the zoom controller, you can magnify what you want to look at in your environment. Saves hauling several different magnifiers along with you.

Display Accommodations

Display Accommodations have something to do with color vision and maybe contrast. Invert colors automatically disables True Tone and Night Shift. Whatever they are. Hold on...True Tone is intended to make the colors on your display more natural. Night shift shifts the colors on the display towards the yellow and away from the blue. The apparent reason is to reduce the amount of blue light consumers are exposed to.

Other features in this section include Color Filters, Auto-Brightness and Reduce White Point. I do not have a clue how any of these are helpful to those of us with visual impairment but if you feel like playing around with them, write to us and let you know what you discovered.

That is about it for now. Next up is the Speech accommodation. Is that OCR, optical character recognition? Dunno. Come on back and we can learn things together!

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